BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Over the last weekend, the Bridgeport Fire Department hosted a training expo with other local fire departments. Interstate Rescue was brought in to run the intense training session.
The training expo kicked off on Friday. Nearly 20 fire departments from all over the Mountain State came out and spent between 8-10 hours training each day. Interstate Rescue came prepared with props and sets for firefighters to train with. A mock house was built in the fire department’s parking lot to simulate fire rescue missions. In addition, props, such as walls, obstacle courses, and mock rooms, were used to make everything feel as it would when a real fire happens.
“We dial in the basics in repetition,” said Rob Blasetti, training manager for Interstate Rescue. “And then we add in emotional components to those basic skills to hopefully provide an opportunity for the student to increase their tempo or increase their speed on the fire ground.”
The added emotional components helped make the scenario or drill feel more real for the firefighters. Music was blasting through the training ground throughout the weekend for multiple reasons. While the music can give firefighters more energy, it can also mess with their rhythm. Rhythm and tempo were the mantras of the weekend.
“If you own the tempo of any game, you own the game,” Blasetti said.
Overall, the training was well received from the firefighters’ perspective. Blasetti said there has already been discussion about having another training expo next year.